Faculty of Science
Ecology & Biodiversity
Offered As: Intensive Major Major Minor
URL: https://webapp.science.hku.hk/sr4/servlet/enquiry?Type=Major&Code=MajorInEcologyBiodiversityIntensive&AdmissionYear=2023 https://webapp.science.hku.hk/sr4/servlet/enquiry?Type=Major&Code=MajorInEcologyBiodiversity&AdmissionYear=2023 https://webapp.science.hku.hk/sr4/servlet/enquiry?Type=Minor&Code=MinorInEcologyBiodiversity&AdmissionYear=2023
*Open to students of other Faculties: only open to BSc students
Credits: 144 96 36
What is it about? The major in Ecology & Biodiversity is directed at teaching students: (1) how organisms interact with each other and their environments, (2) how species are distributed throughout the world, and (3) key threats and approaches to conserving biodiversity. Special reference is made to Hong Kong and Asia; the ways in which humans have impacted upon natural environments; and, the approaches used to manage or ameliorate those impacts. Students have an opportunity to conduct independent research in ecology and biodiversity as a final year project or a dissertation under the close supervision of an individual staff member.

The intensive major in Ecology & Biodiversity is based around an introductory core that emphasizes biology, ecology and evolution of plants and animals; it includes a compulsory residential field trip (as part of the Ecology and Evolution course), as well as instruction in data analysis and biostatistics. Many of the advanced courses in the major have a strong emphasis on field-work and on small projects performed by students. They teach students about the ecology and biodiversity of different ecosystems (e.g. marine, terrestrial, freshwater and urban) and taxa (e.g. flowering plants, insects, fishes, marine mammals). Other courses focus on more applied topics, such as environmental impact assessment, conservation, and provide an opportunity for students to become familiar with specialised topics ranging from systematics to animal behaviour.

This Minor in Ecology & Biodiversity is an ideal introduction to the natural world, the species and ecosystems it comprises and the biological rules it follows. It aims to allow students to learn about general ecological principles and the local flora and fauna of the region, and the conservation challenges that will need to be addressed in a rapidly-changing world.
Offering Faculty/ Department/ School/Institute School of Biological Sciences

Pre-requisite requirements and/or other conditions for declaring the major/minor Major/ Intensive Major/ Minor:
Please refer to the course prerequisites of the required courses.

For details, please check with the School of Biological Sciences.
Career opportunities For the Ecology & Biodiversity Major, through the range of formal field-based courses as well as extra-curricular activities offered, students taking this major will have opportunities to participate in research, field conservation and education projects both locally and internationally. Assistance will be provided so that students can develop expertise in one or a few groups of plants or animals, as familiarity with species identification is an essential prerequisite for biodiversity scientists or conservation biologists.

The Intensive Ecology & Biodiversity Major is directed at teaching students the 'rules of existence' for organisms in natural and human-modified environments, including major threats to biodiversity and the approaches adopted to conserve species and habitats. Special reference is made to the plants, animals and habitats of Hong Kong and Asia, the ways in which humans have altered the region's ecosystems, and the management or mitigation of those impacts. The range and scope of courses offered will provide students with a firm foundation in ecology, biodiversity and related disciplines, and equip them with the skills required for postgraduate research or employment with government and non-government organisations concerned with biodiversity conservation, nature preservation or habitat assessment and management.

Students graduated with a Minor in Ecology & Biodiversity will be able to build upon this basic knowledge developed at the introductory level by selecting from among a wide range of courses that offer learning opportunities through practical and field work, as well as traditional and virtual teaching, in more specialised areas of ecology and biodiversity.

For details, please check with Faculty or CEDARS (Careers & Placement).
Further information Major:

Intensive Major:

Contact E: biosch@hku.hk
T: 2299 0800
* Note: Students pursuing curricula with major / minor programme(s) must complete at least one major programme from their home Faculties upon graduation. Disclaimer: The information mainly applies to students admitted in 2023-24 and thereafter. For students from different cohorts, the information is only for reference. Please check with Faculty/offering department for details. The pre-requisite requirements / conditions are subject to changes by Faculties from time to time, and students are advised to check with their Faculty Office in case of doubt.